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Ferrari French Quarter Classic, Part V

Discussion in 'Louisiana' started by 134282, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,618
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Before giving me a ride in the Ferrari Breadvan, John approached Ray Meringues, the owner of the yellow Enzo. He pulled him aside and discreetly mentioned that I was a big fan of the Enzo and that, if at all possible, I’d be thrilled to get a ride in one. Ray looked over towards me and smiled.

    “Sure, no problem,” he said.

    My jaw dropped. An Enzo…? Did this guy really just say okay to giving me a ride in my most favorite car of all time…? Will I really get to submerge myself into a cabin of carbon fiber and be one with Ferrari’s newest and most exotic super car…? I couldn’t believe it. I was near shock. My mind was having trouble fathoming the simple idea of getting into a car.

    …but it’s not just a car, it’s an Enzo…! The merri-go-round circus in my head was on full speed as I tried to process what just happened. John smiled as he walked by me and I struggled to mutter a thank-you but my mind was too jumbled to formulate coherent words. Barely conscious, I wandered about the pits, snapping pictures of different cars. Talking with owners and enthusiasts alike, I was enjoying the day; trying to keep the thought of riding in an Enzo from being the only thing in my head.

    After what seemed like hours, Ray approached me. I saw him walking towards me from a distance and I looked away, pretending not to see him. I didn’t want to assume he was coming over to talk to me. Sure enough, he was.

    “Hey, my friend’s going to take you out on the track in a few minutes, he’s just going to take someone else right now; you’ll be after him, though.”

    I managed to string together words of gratitude as this little kid inside me started jumping up and down, screaming; “YAHOOOOOOO…!!!”

    I went to Kelly’s car and grabbed the spare helmet he said I could use. I walked around with it, anticipating the Enzo’s return. I just happened to be standing by the most famous F40 of all time when the owner, Roland Linder, turned to me and said words that I can still here.

    Tired and sweating from driving the piss out of the fastest F40 the world has ever seen, all damn day, Roland looked at me, his eyes steady through his glasses, and said:

    “You… I want to take you for a ride. Are you available? Can you go?”

    Am I available…? HA HA! Is he kidding me…? Am I available to go for a ride in an F40…? And not just any F40, the F40 LM. Can I go…? Is he serious…? OF COURSE I CAN…!

    “Hell yes!” I said. I felt my face stretch out from the huge smile that just landed on it. Am I allowed to have this much fun in one day…?

    Roland’s assistant helped me squeeze my way into the car and secure the 5-point harness. The dash in front of me looked like it was stolen from the cockpit of a plane. A sea of buttons, switches, levers and lights crowded into a horizontal boardwalk that extended from the driver’s side of the car, all the way to the passenger’s side. A fleeting thought of cartoons I had watched as a kid flashed through my head; ‘whatever you do, don’t touch the red button!’

    Roland fell into the car with ease, fastening his harness and checking the gauges. With my helmet on, I had to slouch down into the seat as much as possible; the roof was a lot lower than it seemed. The more I slouched, the more my crotch yielded to the round, metal base that was the harness. ‘Please don’t hit any bumps’ I thought.

    Once the doors closed, we were ready. Roland shifted into gear and we rolled towards the grid. I felt everything. Every crack in the ground, every tiny rock underneath the tires, everything. Just inches from my chest was a very complex dashboard. My helmeted head was tapping against the roof; my body stuffed into a racing seat. I loved every bit of it, it was so exciting.

    Once cleared for take-off, we fled from the grid into the end of a turn and poured out onto the straight. We flew down the straight, the screaming exhaust note raging against the sidewalls. My eyes moved back and forth from the track in front of us to Roland. He was calm, as if sitting at home, watching tv. He could probably do this with his eyes closed. The car rushed towards each turn, only to dramatically decrease in speed right before entering them. Upon exiting, Roland would mash the gas and we’d be rocketing towards the next turn.

    The F40 is a very commanding car and, after our first lap around the track and with Roland at the controls, it seemed as if the car controlled the track. That rather than the car steered into the turns, the track straightened itself out for the car. Roland threaded the track like a sewing machine through cloth, relentlessly and effortlessly weaving in and out. This F40 LM beast seemed to take charge and gave the illusion of bending the turns and ironing out the hairpin into a straightaway. The roar of the engine just added to the whole hardcore experience. I looked over at Roland; he was still as calm as could be.

    A few more times racing around the track and we pulled back into the pits. I was aglow from the thrashing I was just a part of. It was amazing. Even more amazing was my good fortune. First, a ride in a 355 with John Houghtaling, then this ride with Roland in his F40 LM – and a show-stopping ride in the Breadvan right in the middle…! I almost felt guilty anticipating my ride in the Enzo. Almost.

    I pulled the string in the door, releasing it and exited Roland’s car with the help of his assistant. Matt and Ryan were trying to ask me what I thought of the ride but I was too much in a fog to give a detailed DEScription. Dizzy with joy, I made my way over to where the Enzo was last parked. During my ride with Roland, the Enzo came in, picked up someone else and went back out.

    Did I miss my chance to get a ride in an Enzo…?
     
  2. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,861
    Pensacola
    Once again great story DES! One of the coolest things I saw at the track the entire day was Roland driving that car around the track. The man can definitly drive that car! I had turned around for a brief moment and was talking to someone when I heard the dreaded screech of tires sliding. As I clenched up to turn around looking to see who was going off the track my eyes caught the best display of driving that day I witnessed. There goes Roland and DES going into a turn in what appeared to me way to fast sliding nearly sideways doing a flawlessly perfect drift around the turn. It was a sight I can still play in my mind over and over. I laughed out loud thinking of the grin on DES face and the mess he was probably making of Rolands seat. Eventually this turned into a drift contest with John and Franco particpating. That was a site to see.

    Roland's F40 is one bad mean machine and I had the pleasure of following him part of the way to the track in Dale S 550. It was one surreal thing to see it in action after spending so many hours here on Fchat drooling over it. The car is amazing and the downforce from it sucks up pavement like a Hoover vaccuum. Roland is one cool guy and it was a pleasure to meet him. I had a few chats with him over the weekend and the guy just loves to drive. He probably did more laps than anyone that day from what I saw and the whole time had a smile on his face. I look forward to seeing him next year and this time DES you get to take the pictures because I'm getting in line for one of those rides.


    The next installment is going to be good. I only have a few shots of the F40 and DES but the following edition is going to take the cake.

    Heading to the track...
     
  3. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,861
    Pensacola
  4. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,861
    Pensacola
    Inside Shot. This thing has more buttons than a computer!
     
  5. JOEV

    JOEV F1 Rookie

    Aug 6, 2003
    2,657
    London, ON, Canada
    Full Name:
    Joe
    DES - welcome back baloney/balogna tits! :)

    Thanks for the great stories.
     
  6. EVartanian

    EVartanian Formula 3

    Mar 19, 2002
    1,177
    Sunny SoCal
    Full Name:
    Eric
    Oh My...

    Part VI, Part VI, Part VI!!!!!!
     
  7. Gman

    Gman Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jul 15, 2003
    763
    York, PA
    DES

    I think that they are going to have to do one of those shows on the E network about how "It's Good to be DES":)

    I am envious of your adventure. Keep the stories coming. They get me through my work day (as long as the boss doesn't see).

    John
     
  8. Johns

    Johns Guest

    Nov 2, 2003
    116
    nj/nyc
    Full Name:
    Johnny East
    kewl story!! :)
     
  9. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Jordan Witherspoon
    Another good one DES! Keep them coming!

    Rolands car is SPECTACULAR. Even though the ride I had in it was only for a few hundred feet, it was quite an experience...I cant even begin to imagine how much fun it would be on the track!
     
  10. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,618
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Matt, nice jump-in with the pictures... That top one is the best...

    Whaddya say there, Joe V, ya barrel ass...? (Hey, pssst... Someone help me out here... Who's Joe V...?)

    Eric, i'm gonna try really hard to have Part VI up by tomorrow, but weekends are always cloudy...

    LOL, Gman, yeah, don't let the boss see... Call E True Hollywood Stories and see if they'll do a show... If so, i'll give you half of whatever i net...

    Johns, Jordan, thanks... It was really cool... :)
     
  11. JOEV

    JOEV F1 Rookie

    Aug 6, 2003
    2,657
    London, ON, Canada
    Full Name:
    Joe
    DES - that hurts. :( - lol

    I'm the guy that had sand all over his assy nipples last summer at the beach, while you were telling the cops that you had nothing to do with the Hucklebuck. Remember now?
     
  12. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
    1,793
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Yoshi Ace
    Your essay have been very entertaining to get on F-chat while recovering from Achilles injury. I won't be able to drive this year, most likely, so your essay let my stress out in some way. I am waiting for Enzo essay!!!

    I definitely will try my best to go there next year.
     
  13. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    4,274
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    Tyler
    Each part is better than the last. I love it!!
     
  14. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 30, 2001
    21,839
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Jim E
    Yoshi, if you need someone to take your car out for some exercise, I'm available. I've never driven a red one! :)
     

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